The Asian water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, is a large feral animal that has been living on our country since the late 1800s. Buffalo cause great damage to country, especially when there are a lot of them. They damage important cultural sites and sensitive vegetation, compete with native animals for food, cause erosion and saltwater intrusion, pollute freshwater and spread weeds. Historically, buffalo has been an important convenient source of meat for people in the region and many landowners have been involved in the buffalo meat industry and value the animal’s presence. However, aerial surveys suggest that in a recent 15-year period buffalo numbers at least doubled, confirming landowner concerns that there are now too many buffalo.
We are creating opportunities for landowners to participate in our feral animal management and monitoring strategy. We are also developing research partnerships so that we can better understand the buffalo population and its size, and we are investigating realistic commercial opportunities as part of a potential management strategy.
Our long-term goal is to reduce buffalo population numbers to 5000 head within the Djelk region.